Steve Levin Promotes Extension of Millionaires Tax

With the recent announcement of more than 6000 teaching slots being cut through layoffs and attrition, NBC nightly news spoke with Steve Levin about his proposal to extend the millionaires tax.  Given that both of these possible outcomes will affect Brooklyn Heights, which you think is better for the neighborhood?  Teacher layoffs or a millionaires tax extension?

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  • nabeguy

    Extend the millionaire tax and raise the billionaire tax.

  • HeightsGuy

    Teacher layoffs

  • T.K. Small

    I must admit, it’s impossible for me to be objective. My sister is a teacher. I just thought this clip was interesting in that Levin takes a position which might have more impact in Brooklyn Heights than in almost anywhere else in the city.

  • william

    Keep the teachers. Fire Bloomberg.

  • rob

    keep the teachers- fire Bloomberg- fire Levin . and its time Millionaires started paying taxes. If they don’t want to, they leave the country- Everyone has to pay something

  • Gerry

    How much money can i pay in taxes?

    I make a ton of money and every dollar I make I pay 55% in taxes.

    Here in Brooklyn Heights I pay taxes. My home on the east end of Long Island I pay more taxes. Plus utilities with a 17% MTA surcharge, etc.

    I pay too many taxes.

    The millionairs tax will help me shelter about $300K per year that would help.

    I am unfairly taxed.

    This is discrimination against the loaded here in Brooklyn Heights I vote for Levin every time.

  • John

    does it matter ?

  • Don Baumohl

    Warren Buffet said it better than anyone could. He said something to this effect. “You know something is wrong when my secretary is paying more taxes than myself”.

  • Damned

    It doesn’t really matter, as John queries.

    Obama’s insanity will bring the country to its fiscal knees.

  • HeightsGuy

    Talk about insanity: anyone who believes that “millionares” do not pay taxes. The top 1% of income earners in this country pay 40% of all income taxes.

    Stop the lies and propaganda.

  • nabeguy

    Heightsguy, from Wikipedia:

    In the United States at the end of 2001, 10% of the population owned 71% of the wealth and the top 1% owned 38%. On the other hand, the bottom 40% owned less than 1% of the nation’s wealth.[13]
    According to this 2006 study by the Federal Reserve System, from 1989 to 2004, the distribution in the United States had been changing with indications there was a greater concentration of wealth held by the top 10% and top 1% of the population

    There’s a reason that they’re paying 40%

  • bklyn20

    One of the arguments given for eliminating this tax is that millionaires are starting all kinds of new businesses which then lead to new jobs for singleaires. I have not seen this in NYC. My millionaire friends here – and there are quite a few and they will not like this comment – are buying more property or improving their homes or reassessing their portfolios. There is nothing wrong with this use of their money but it is not creating new businesses. Jobs for plasterers nannies and the odd financial analyst maybe. Perhaps it is different elsewhere.

  • Peter

    The tax burden in the nation is the lowest snce the mid 50’s.

    The concentration of wealth at the top is approaching robber-baron levels.

    There’s a joke that goes something like this:

    One of the Koch brothers is sitting at a table with a ‘Reagan’ Democrat, and a school teacher. There are 11 cookies on the table.

    Koch takes 10 of the cookies, and says to the guy. hey, that teacher is trying to steal your cookie.

    And you can replace ‘school teacher’ with black person, etc. It is pure GOP ‘southern strategy’, brought up north.

    Bob Herbert, a New York Times columnist, reported a 1981 interview with Lee Atwater, published in Southern Politics in the 1990s by Prof. Alexander P. Lamis, in which Lee Atwater discussed politics in the South:

    You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff.

    You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.

    And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me—because obviously sitting around saying, “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger”.

  • dog lover

    Let’s invest in our best resource, our children, by not cutting teachers.

  • eg

    As far as what is a better choice – teachers or rich people: Follow the money!

    Cutting teachers will lead to more unemployment, which cannot be absorbed by the private sector.

  • T.K. Small

    I’m glad that this posting as had some response. As someone who is on the front line of how budgetary decisions get implemented, personally and professionally I think about these issues a great deal. For the better part of 30 years, I think that the political class has failed our country. Politicians only seem to be able to tell people what they want to hear. On the left, “soak the rich” and on the right, “all government is bad”.

    The Ayn Rand, “all government is bad” crowd drive me particularly crazy. They never get asked the tough questions as to how society will respond to the fallout of their extreme positions. I’m not interested in “soaking the rich” just for purposes of mean-spiritedness, but there is an unmistakable value in having an educated populace. Certainly there are inefficiencies and waste, but that does not mean that the entire system should be obliterated through a lack of funding. For me, the same arguments prevail in speaking about healthcare. Society is better off without sick people walking around getting other people sick. Unfortunately, these arguments completely escape a growing proportion of elected officials.

  • HeightsGuy

    Nabeguy: the so-called millionaire’s tax is a tax based on income and not on assets owned. My statistics come from the IRS, which are based on income and not assets.

    You are quoting amount of wealth owned, which is much different than taxable income. In fact, the very wealthy — the ones who own substantial assets — often pay little in income taxes because they do not work at jobs that earn taxable income. They invest their money and usually pay taxes on capital gains and dividends. An example is Warren Buffet, whose income is primarily in the form of capital gains and dividends. Perhaps that is why Buffet supports higher income taxes: because he would not be subject to such.

  • T.K. Small

    If Warren Buffett is getting dividend income, it isn’t from this company Berkshire Hathaway. Both the class A & B shares do not pay dividends.

  • Hicks on Hicks

    I’m with Heights Guy, fire the teachers. Taxes are high enough already.

    We’d have more money for the teachers if we weren’t busy subsidizing the lazy and those that make bad decisions. Take a stroll by the projects and tell me why we should be subsidizing that lifestyle.

  • T.K. Small

    Thanks for providing a first-hand example of some of what I have been talking about.

  • nabeguy

    Heightsguy, I’m aware of the difference between assets and income. One need only look at the countless trustefarians in our own neighborhood for evidence of that distinction.
    Hicks on Hicks, I take you don’t have children. Given the insinuation of your last statement, that’s probably a good thing for all of us.

  • Peter

    @Hicks on Hicks

    >Take a stroll by the projects and tell me why we should be subsidizing that lifestyle.

    Yeah, take a stroll by Exxon headquarters and tell me why we should be subsidizing that lifestyle.

    Or why I should subsidize the minority of people in this city who own cars, yet can take the East River bridges for free?

    Or tell me why out West we let ranchers graze on Federal lands for a fraction o their worth.

    But.. but. .those. coloreds have new sneakers!!


  • ABC

    25% flat tax

  • EHinBH

    Flat tax is the way to go.

  • RobtS

    @Gerry, the top marginal Federal tax rate is 35%. Social Security is 4.2% this year, down from 6.2%, and capped at 103K; Medicare is 1.45% New York State’s top tax rate is 3.6%, and both city and state taxes are deductible from Federal taxable income, as are your propety taxes.Since you’re making, by your own admission, “a ton of money”, you probably qualify for AMT, but even then, there is simply no way that 55% of your income goes to taxes. It’s a nice line, and I’ve heard it repeated on Fox News, Fox Business, and Larry Kudlow’s mad hour on CNBC, but that doesn’t make it true.

    And if the 17% property tax on your second home – taxes that keep your roads and beaches clean, and your gardener’s and plumber’s kids educated – is too high, sell your home.

    Government isn’t evil. It isn’t a beast. It runs the human and physical infrastructure that enables us to live the lives we lead. It’s just time for us to pay for the lifestyle we all demand. Oh and please note – I’m making enough money that these are not empty words.

  • Jeffrey j Smith

    The same old choice between the the same old two choices. never
    any attention to the real causes.

    The ONLY factor which is causing ALL of this is that, well, like all
    democracies without proper safeguards quickly become bank-

    The Banks and the NGO’s are making policy including
    all economic policy almost entirely extragovernimentally.

    And now America is going to be given the choice many lands before have been given: raise taxes or live with much reduced services and over the moon debt.

    Hey, what if we didnt have to pay for debt which is created out of
    thin air? and what if we didnt have to pay for a private bank to issue “our” money?

    We have reached the EXACT point which many, many great
    patriots and honest economics experts in the thritys said we
    would reach.

    Sorry, for the lonk post-but it needs to be said. We acn only help
    if we break out of the present control mechanism.

  • Matthew Parker

    “Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society,” legendary (and Republican) Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr

  • Johng

    This is a false choice. There is unbelievable, unconscionable financial waste/abuse in government that if corrected could provide funding for priority expenditures like education, without raising our already stifling taxes.

  • BH Resident

    I thought the millionaires’ tax was a state legislature issue. if that’s the case, shouldn’t Mr. Levin be focusing his efforts on things that a city councilman can actually impact (like reducing helicopter traffic over the neighborhood and park)?

    As for the merits of the tax, this is a good piece:

  • tb

    How about the tax be for ACTUAL millionaires? Those who make over a million.